Apple iOS 12 releases today: Top new features list, how to update, and more

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iOS 12, the next major update to its operating system for iPhone and iPad, will be released to the public on 17 September 2018. It adds group FaceTime calls, custom Animoji and lots more. But is your iPhone or iPad able to install the update?

Not all iOS updates are compatible with older devices. Apple acknowledges the reality that hardware gets slower as it ages, and a phone that was state-of-the-art five years ago is unlikely to be able to run the latest software now.

Indeed, in the past we have sometimes found that borderline cases – devices that only just sneak into the list – are able to install the new OS but struggle to run it well, and run a bit slower than with the previous version of iOS.

But that should not be the case this year. All the iPads and iPhones that were compatible with iOS 11 are also compatible with iOS 12; and because of performance tweaks, Apple claims that the older devices will actually get faster when they update.

Which devices can run iOS 12?

iOS 12 runs on an extensive list of iPhones and iPads. But, essentially, it will support any iOS device released since 2013, including the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and XR.

Apart from the new devices, which will launch with the software out-of-box, the following tablets and phones will be included in the rollout:

iPhone

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s

iPad

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (second-gen)
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (first-gen)
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (fifth-gen)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3

Soon, you cannot be added to WhatsApp Groups without your permission.

Apple iOS 12: Top features

Performance

Apple says it has improved the performance on iOS 12 with apps opening twice as fast and optimising CPU to the maximum when required. The company says its latest software update works better on older iPhones. iOS 12 is said to load apps on older iPhones up to 40% faster.

Augmented Reality

Apple will be rolling out the latest ARKiT 2.0 augmented reality platform with its new software update. The latest iteration paves way for smarter and more advanced AR-based applications on iPhones. The company has rolled out Universal Scene Description Optimised (USDZ) in collaboration with Pixar to create a new file format for AR content. Apple has partnered with companies like Adobe and Lego to deliver better and more interactive AR experience on the iPhones.

Measure app

Apple announced a new AR measurement tool called Measure. It can measure and detect real-world objects. There are two tabs in the app – measure and level – and the app has a camera view, which lets you tap, drag a line, and measure.

ARKit 2

Apple is improving ARKit with face tracking, realistic rendering, 3D object detection, persistent experiences, and shared experiences, the latter of which will let you have single AR experience used on multiple iPhones. Martin Sanders, director of innovation for Lego, came onstage to show a Lego kit that he and others could manipulate together with an AR app. More experiences will arrive later this year.

Photos

Similar to Google’s AI-based Photos app, Apple’s native photo application is also getting some smarter features with iOS 12. For instance, Apple Photos will now show search suggestions allowing users to discover older photos through certain keywords like places, moments and even business names.

Apple has launched a new section called For You in the Photos app that will show memories, featured photos, live photos, shared album activity. Apple Photos will also show you highlights of from a certain event or day and suggest users to invite friends to join the album.

Another interesting update is the ability to send full resolution pictures through iMessage.

Animoji and Memoji

First of all, Animoji are getting an update to support “Tongue Detection.” Seriously.

But the most interesting new thing is something called Memoji, which is what happens when you make an Animoji of yourself. It’s different from Bitmoji and Samsung’s AR emoji – but also similar. With the new Memoji builder, you can select your skin colour, hair, etc. You then pull up the camera in iMessage, and there’s a star button you can tap to access effects. You can even do a live recording of the Animoji.

Apple Books

This app got a new name and a new design. For instance, a new “Reading now” section will show you where you were left off.

There’s also a new store.

Apple Stocks

The Stocks app has been rebuilt – with Apple News tucked inside. So, now you can see how the latest news while checking out your investments portfolio. Stocks is even coming to iPad, Apple said.

Screen Time

Apple is also bringing a slew of digital well-being focused features in the latest iOS 12 update. There will be a new dashboard that will show users how much time they have spent on their devices. Users can also set a time limit for different applications. Called Screen Time, the feature will be available to both iPhone and iPad users.

Siri on iOS 12 will prompt users to disable notifications for apps they don’t use regularly.

The Do Not Disturb mode is also getting better with a new bedtime feature. This mode blocks notifications appearing on the display. Users can further personalise the time limit they want to activate this mode.

Grouped FaceTime calls

Just like how grouped notifications have finally arrived, you can now do group FaceTime calls with up to 32 people. However, Apple said Group FaceTime has been removed from the initial iOS 12 release and will now “ship in a future software update” later this autumn.

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